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Decorative Arts Sampler

August 18, 2021 2:00 PM — 3:00 PM


Join us for an introductory, five-week study of decorative arts made or used in New England from the colonial era until the early twentieth century. Designed to appeal to individuals interested in antiques, craftsmanship, and/or history, the course centers on the Concord Museum’s vast collection of decorative arts.

The course includes an orientation to the Concord Museum and an introduction to the principles of connoisseurship and the handling of objects. Each session is livestreamed from the Museum’s state-of-the-art Lisa H. Foote History Learning Center.

Each session includes a lecture from curator David Wood and/or curatorial associate Erica Lome. Guided “close looking” activities will include a close-up video feed detailing the featured objects being shown by the curators.  Students will closely examine objects from our Museum collection and learn to identify their material, technical, and stylistic properties.

This course will introduce participants to fundamental techniques for evaluating objects, including ceramics, metalwork, furniture, textiles, and works on paper. Each category poses specific criteria in terms of manufacture, dating, regional style, and authenticity. By the end of the course, participants will gain an understanding of these fundamentals and a set of skills they can use in their daily lives.

Course Schedule

Wednesday, July 28 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Ceramics

Wednesday, August 4 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Furniture

Wednesday, August 11 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Metalwork

Wednesday, August 18 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Textiles

Wednesday, August 25 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Works on Paper

Registration Information

For the summer of 2021, this course will be held virtually over Zoom.  Special cameras will be used in the Lisa H. Foote History Learning Center, so students will be able to see various angles and details of the objects being shown.  Students will also be encouraged to take self-guided field trips to the Concord Museum as well as other area institutions throughout the course.

The course is limited to a small group of students.  Students will be encouraged to participate in discussions, make observations, and ask questions throughout the course.

Students can register for the full five-session course or individual sessions.  The cost of the course is $65 ($50 for members, $90 for new members*).  Individual sessions cost $16 ($12 for members).  Need-based scholarships are available.  Please contact Allison Shilling ashilling@concordmuseum.org for more information.

Students enrolled in the full course will receive a copy of the Concord Museum’s award-winning decorative arts catalog Decorative Arts from a New England Collection.

Cancellation policy: A full refund will be issued to those who cancel before 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.  If the course doesn’t reach the minimum capacity, it will be canceled and students will be issued full refunds.

*New member registration includes a discounted $40 Individual Membership ($50 value) to the Concord Museum.


August 18
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm